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Cursed    by Jamie Leigh Hansen order for
by Jamie Leigh Hansen
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2008 (2008)
*   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

For twelve years, Alex Foster has been caught up in a seductive dream where he and a mysteriously erotic woman share intimacies in a candlelit room. Then one night the dreams change - he finally recognises his lover. Alex is shocked to discover she is none other than Beth Raines, the girl he had a hopeless crush on in high school.

Beth too, has experienced similar dreams of Alex over the years but she believes they're only schoolgirl fantasies. Then she comes home to Spokane to care for her dying mother as well as take her abandoned nieces and nephews under her wing. The entire situation overwhelms her until fate brings her together with Alex. Both soon realize they've experienced a special link through their shared dreams. Alex is ready to take the next step, but Beth isn't so sure - until strange entities show them that their combined supernatural talent may be the only way to stop an ancient enemy bent on destructive revenge against those who imprisoned her for the past thousand years.

Alex Foster made an impressive secondary hero in Hansen's debut novel, Betrayed. Unfortunately, all his positive qualities and many of the paranormal elements of the story are lost this time. His personality turns rather smarmy as he's swept into Beth's melodramatic life and the issues surrounding her large extended family. The only characters that stay true are the deliciously evil Maeve and the shadowy Silas and Draven, fallen angels working behind the scenes to control Maeve's quest for revenge.

Hansen introduced a truly intriguing and unique mythology in Betrayed. Cursed, unfortunately, loses a lot of its paranormal punch to erratic pacing and tone, tepid plotting, too many characters and a disappointing love story.

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